The Mountaineering Council of Scotland, on behalf of its 11,000 members, welcomes the authoritative opening up of the debate regarding renewables in Scotland (Letters, 27 April) by a group of respected engineers and academics.
Regarding the visual impact on Scotland’s mountain landscape, the environment minister Roseanna Cunningham stated in February that between 2002 and 2009 the extent of Scotland unaffected by any form of visual influence declined from 41 per cent to 28 per cent, commenting: “This is in the main caused by wind-turbine development and its associated visual influence.”
At that rate, in 13 years there could be no part of Scotland unaffected by wind-farm development and the greatly increased and unrealistic ambitions of 100 per cent energy from renewables by 2020 means it could happen sooner.
The cherished landscapes that are under threat are those where many of us go to escape from the pressures of modern life and to experience the natural world. They are also a major tourist attraction and form the basis of Scotland’s identity.
President, Mountaineering Council of Scotland
West Mill Street, Perth
CONGRATULATIONS to The Scotsman for revealing the strength of opposition to Alex Salmond’s “vision” of a Scotland covered in wind farms in order to achieve unrealistic renewable energy targets.
The strength of that opposition is growing as people realise the landscape devastation that turbines cause.
If Mr Salmond is returned as First Minister on 5 May, those who love Scotland’s landscape for its beauty and wildness can look forward to more of it being “industrialised” by turbines.
Make no mistake, wind farms are inefficient, massively subsidised and do nothing to combat climate change. They simply allow developers and landowners to trouser the profits at the expense of taxpayers.
Voters should think about this when they visit the polling booths, and someone should drag Mr Salmond up a hill and let him see just what his “vision” is doing to our wild places.
READING the article by Richard Dixon, director of WWF, entitled “Scotland could have 100% green energy by 2020” (29 April) caused me to wonder when we will hear the first politician upping the bidding stakes by claiming that they will generate 120 per cent of our electricity from renewables and create 200,000 jobs by 2020?
IT IS time to call a halt on the grandiose scheme to construct “wind factories” (28 April) throughout the length and breadth of Scotland, at the expense of the natural beauty of our hills and glens.
Examination of the performance of on-shore wind turbines shows “industry claims” of 30 per cent operational efficiency, while, in practice, outputs are nearer 20 per cent.
Planning applications are always based on the 30 per cent figure, which is dishonest, in view of the new information now in the public domain.
Since their real value has been downgraded, surely these applications should be re-assessed with greater consideration being given to local opinion, aesthetic impact and the potential environmental damage caused by these giant turbines.
Gullane, East Lothian
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